HBO Documentary Films has acquired worldwide TV and streaming rights to Participant Media and Emerson Collective’s documentary feature Foster, from Oscar-winning filmmakers Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris (HBO’s Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport). The Sabine Films production, which recently had its world premiere at AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington, D.C., will debut on HBO in 2019.
In the docu, Oppenheimer and Harris upend myths about foster care. There are currently more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S., a number that continues to grow each year, according to the filmmakers. Drawing on unprecedented access, Foster traces a complex path through the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, interweaving first-hand stories of those navigating the system with insights from social workers, advocates and others working in the justice system.
In addition, Participant Media is developing a social impact campaign that hopes to engage elected officials and other leaders, as well as organizations across the country, in a coordinated effort to create more visibility, support, and resources for children and families in the foster care system. The initiative will highlight successful practitioners and programs that accelerate solutions focused on strengthening families.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with HBO and can’t imagine a better place for Foster, said Harris and Oppenheimer. We had a wonderful experience working with them on Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport and we look forward to collaborating with them again in bringing our new film to as many viewers as possible. We’re grateful to HBO for their passion and support and are excited to be working with their outstanding team.”
Diane Weyermann, president of Documentary Film and Television for Participant Media, adds, “Foster, beautifully crafted by Mark and Deborah, is an honest and deeply committed account of a community that deserves our attention and support. We are incredibly pleased to be working again with our friends at HBO as they bring this important story to audiences around the world.”
Featuring the original song “Tiny Victories,” performed by Atlantic Records singer-songwriter Christina Perri, Foster was also made possible by a grant and support from Casey Family Programs, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Barry and Wendy Meyer Foundation.
The deal for Foster was negotiated with HBO by Submarine Entertainment’s Josh Braun, as well as Gabriel Brakin, Participant Media’s General Counsel and EVP of Business Affairs, and Krista Wegener, Participant’s SVP of Sales and Distribution.